Whisper Room

Redskins coach Steve Spurrier said last week he's content with Sage Rosenfels and Danny Wuerffel as his top two quarterbacks. To which we say: are you kidding? Quarterback remains an unsolved problem, which is one reason VP of football operations Joe Mendes has talked some more with Chris Chandler's agent, Frank Bauer. But here's the thing . . .

Bauer and Mendes are best friends. So are the Redskins really interested in Chandler? Or are the two friends more interested in helping each other by scaring Chicago?

The Bears have negotiated for weeks with Chandler. Washington, meanwhile, is waiting for Chicago to sign Chandler so it would then trade backup Shane Matthews to the Redskins (a trade we never thought would be completed before now. The Bears have long said, 'What's the rush?' They need Matthews on the roster, otherwise Chandler's asking price increases).

If Bauer and Mendes make it appear they're interested in each other--only they can say if they really are--that would force Chicago to act quickly. The hunch is, that's what's going on. Chandler is too brittle to be counted on as a fulltime starter, making him better as a backup--as he would be with the Bears.

Then Washington could trade for someone with starting experience in Matthews. That would at least give Spurrier more credibility among his players. They know who can play and who can't. And if he tries to sell them on Wuerffel or the inexperienced Rosenfels, Spurrier will be in trouble. Even if the Redskins draft a quarterback, they still need a more quality starter in the interim.

Some players, perhaps only a few--it's hard to say--already are wondering about their new coach's tactics. Unlike most, if not all, coaches, he used an unscripted offense in practice. And some wonder if he's organized enough to win in the NFL. Just like many bristled at Marty Schottenheimer's approach, they'll do the same under Spurrier if his way fails. They might like him better, but no one likes losing.

Most of the players' questions stem from how different he is from most coaches in the league. If the Redskins win, they'll credit Spurrier's unconventional approach. If they lose, they'll target the same. But if Spurrier honestly believes he can win with Wuerffel in the NFL, then he's setting himself up to be criticized.

We can't believe that's what's going on. Spurrier didn't get this far by being dumb.


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